Saturday, December 14, 2013

Netflix Reviews - December 14th

After finishing with finals for the semester, the first thing I did was sit down and watch movies. Here are the four movies I watched.

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

I remember seeing the trailer at the theater for this movie a while back. I was interested in seeing Bill Murray portray Franklin D. Roosevelt, although at the same time I thought it might take away from the film if it wanted to be serious at some point. I was surprised that the best thing about this film was Murray and especially his relationship with King George VI (portrayed by Samuel West). It felt genuine. The biggest problem with this film I think was that it started to give you an interesting plot, FDR's relationship with his cousin Daisy (played perfectly well by Laura Linney), his relationship with the royal family, etc. and you never really knew what this film wanted to talk about. The director was fine, but the screenplay was lacking. If they had tightened the script a little bit, this film would have been much better.

6 out of 10

Broken City (2013)

I don't really know why I bother sometimes with films like this one. I think the cast is what made me want to spend my time with this movie. Russell Crowe always does interesting movies and Mark Wahlberg can throw down on a nice action movie. That wasn't enough to salvage this film from being completely predictable. If you have seen 20 movies, chances are you have come across the powerful politician using his power to commit a crime plot. I would be surprised if you couldn't figure everything out after watching the first scene. I did. That really takes me out of a film. I like to be surprised and if you are going to do something that has been done to death, at least do it in an incredible way. None of that happens here. It just fails to be interesting in any way. Meh.
5 out of 10

Red Dawn (2012)

If the last film was a meh, this one is an ugh. First time director Dan Bradley tackles on a remake of the 1980s campy as fuck but still entertaining because its so ridiculous and it knows it film about a Russian invasion of the US and a group of teenagers who fight back. Why someone felt this needed a remake is beyond me. The original was a child of the times. Last years of the Cold War mixed with some 80s teenager action and sprinkled with a dose of patriotism. Here we have the North Koreans being the invaders and apparently being helped by the Russians... even though we only ever really see one Russian. Anyway, pretty boy Chris Hemsworth takes a break from ruling Asgard to ham it up something heavy in this flick. Sadly, everyone seems to be hamming it up. Josh Peck, who plays Hemsworth's brother (yeah, right), seems to be bored to tears by everything that is happening. Its a run of the mill actioner where you really root for the Koreans to stick it to these ingrate kids. And it doesn't even have the courtesy to show some tits or something... Also, by the way... fuck shaky cam.

3 out of 10

Killing Season (2013)

 After watching this film, I decided to check out the director. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't great. There were some really interesting shots in the flick and I wanted to see what else he had made. Turns out Mark Steven Johnson has done crap filled with crap. Daredevil, Ghost Rider, and When in Rome... yeesh. Talk about a terrible track record. The movie deals with a Serbian soldier who searches for a US military man who served in Bosnia. Forget about the questionable history behind the conflict after Yugoslavia was torn to different countries and the involvement of US troops, forget the questionable serbian accent that Travolta tries on (and he talks a LOT), it all overshadows and makes seem worse a movie that is mediocre but has some interesting things. Especially the ending. It caught me by surprise and I thought it was a nice touch. I also have no problem with the torture scenes. People get all riled up whenever there are torture scenes in movies and video games and they need to chill out. Torture is supposed to make you feel queasy, that's the whole point. In the end, this is not an entirely terrible movie, but this one at least had some beautiful shots of the wilderness.